Nirmala Venkatesh was a flaw in the system: Renuka Chowdhury


New Delhi : Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhury Saturday said Nirmala Venkatesh, the sacked member of National Commission for Women (NCW), was a “flaw in the system”.

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Venkatesh was Friday removed from office for failing to conduct an unbiased enquiry into the attacks on girls in a Mangalore pub last month by the activists of a fringe rightwing Hindu group, Sri Ram Sene.

In her report, Venkatesh bypassed the attack on women by Sri Rama Sene members, and instead said the club did “not have enough security” and that “women have to safeguard themselves”.

She also shifted the probe focus to whether or not the pub had the licence to serve liquor.

“I am upset with this incident. I feel that despite a good system like the commission, there are flaws that surface. As a member of the commission, it was her (Venkatesh’s) mandate to be gender sensitive in her enquiry …whether the pub had a licence had nothing to do with it,” Chowdhury told reporters here.

Asked if she was satisfied with the NCW’s decision to sack Venkatesh, Chowdhury said: “I am no jury to comment on the decision. The initial report overlooked gender sensitive matters and delved into matters that were irrelevant. ”

Activists barged into Amnesia – The Lounge in Mangalore Jan 24 and thrashed young girls for “violating traditional Indian norms”.

There were protests around the country after the incident. A group of women even went to the extent of mailing Sri Rama Sene leader Pramod Muthalik pink underwears on the Valentine’s Day to protest their moral policing antics.

Muthalik had announced recently that he would file a defamation suit against all those who had sent his men pink underwears.

“Why are they unhappy? Did they not like the colour? I don’t understand their complaint. They talk of defamation, about respect? What about the innocent girls that were assaulted by his men. Do they deserve no respect? The families of girls there in Mangalore call me to ask if their daughters are safe. What about them and their respect? Let him answer this then I will give my answer to Muthalik,” said Chowdhury.

“Imagine their cheek…” she added.

The minister was also content that the leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party L.K. Advani had Saturday condemned the incident.

“I am thankful that Advaniji’s experience and wisdom prevailed and he saw the reality of the incident,” said Chowdhury.